One year ago my husband and I began our journey toward recovery. We enrolled in and attended LifeSTAR, he attended 12 step groups, and we had nightly check-in’s as a couple. My attitude in the beginning was “We can do this.” “We can heal.” “We can love.” “We can recover.” “We can move forward.” “We can be healthy.”
From the beginning, it was, in my mind always our journey. I probably (or definitely…) said otherwise though. I said and maybe believed I was doing it all for myself and my own recovery. Was I though? Was I doing recovery work for myself? I don’t think the answer is a clear and powerful “yes”. Because, hi, I’m (was? still am? working on it?) co-dependent and found myself constantly enmeshed in my husband.
In the beginning I believed I could fix “it”. That I could fix HIM. That I could MAKE him love me. I just had to love him enough. I just had to be pretty enough. I just had to be friendly enough. I just had to be smart enough. I just had to be witty enough. I just had to be more. I didn’t want to admit, and never did until recently, that I actually believed those things. That I believed I just wasn’t enough and if I was enough I could fix him and he would love me.
Here’s the thing though, I AM ENOUGH. Sure, I have my own issues, my own flaws, and my own weaknesses, but my worth is not contingent upon the value or lack of value my husband (or anyone else) places upon me. My identity is not tied to his. His opinion of me is not necessarily my own. His reality is not necessarily my reality. His truths are not necessarily my truths.
I cannot force his love. I cannot force his committment. I cannot force his recovery. And today I can genuinely say that I don’t want to. That’s not to say that I don’t want all of those things, because I do, badly. I know now though, and I mean really know (and if I said it before, disregard that and regard this) and understand (and actually believe) that I have zero control over any of those things. Zero.
It’s taken a year of therapy, serious spiritual efforts, a separation, a (semi) reconciliation to my husband, and sheer will, but this is finally my journey.
These past few months have been H-A-R-D and I am still breathing. I’m functioning and even thriving in some ways.
I can do this. I can love. I can heal. I can recover. I can move forward. I can be healthy.